Seguin is a charming, historic Texas town known for its experimental concrete buildings, thriving energy industry, and rich frontier culture. Its diverse population and easy accessibility to Interstate 10 make it an attractive place to work, live, or visit. But if you are arrested in Seguin, the town is a lot less charming.
When that happens, you need an experienced lawyer to handle your defense and protect your rights.
Just because you have been arrested or accused of a crime does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. The State of Texas must prove the charges against you in court.
Our attorneys defend clients in all types of criminal matters, such as:
- Violent crimes (homicide, assault, sexual assault)
- Drug and alcohol offenses (illegal possession, underage possession, distribution)
- Domestic incidents (homicide, assault, sexual assault)
- Property crimes (theft, burglary, larceny)
- Traffic violations (speeding, reckless driving, DUI/DWI)
Understanding the Justice System: Arrest, Arraignment, and Trial
Every police officer must have “probable cause” to arrest someone, which is a lower threshold than the proof required to convict.
After the person is arrested, the State – through district attorneys in Hays County and other counties – is responsible for gathering evidence and presenting proof of the defendant’s guilt to a judge or jury. The district attorney must prove guilt beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. An arrest does not necessarily lead to a conviction. You are presumed innocent until the State proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In civil lawsuits, the parties may settle to avoid a courtroom trial. In criminal prosecutions, the State may offer the defendant a “plea bargain” in exchange for a guilty plea, which also avoids a courtroom trial.
In a plea bargain, the sentence that the State proposes is usually less than a defendant would face if they lose at trial. Accepting a proposed deal might seem an attractive and inexpensive way to resolve a criminal matter, but every defendant must understand the potential consequences, such as limitations on the ability to pursue a trade, custody rights, immigration status, and more. If you’re charged with a crime, the district attorney is not your friend. You need an attorney on your side, looking out for your best interests and apprising you of the potential ramifications of accepting a plea agreement.
If you have been arrested or accused of a crime, the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution give you the right to consult with counsel before answering any questions that may incriminate you. Before you utter a word to investigators or prosecutors, speak to a lawyer who can protect your rights.
Misdemeanors and Felonies
In Texas, misdemeanors are crimes and criminal offenses with possible penalties of up to one year in local or county jail. A judge can impose a monetary penalty (such as a fine or restitution), sentence the defendant to incarceration, or both. Under the Texas penal code, misdemeanors are categorized as Class A, B, or C. In reverse order:
- Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to a $500 fine.
- Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine up to $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanors, which are the most serious, are punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
Felonies carry longer jail or prison sentences, larger monetary fines and penalties, and even the death penalty. Similar to misdemeanors, felonies are separated into categories of increasing severity:
- State jail felonies are punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a third-degree felony, defendants face two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a second-degree felony, defendants face two to 20 years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000.
- For a first-degree felony, defendants face between five to 99 years in prison or life without the possibility of parole, plus a fine of up to $10,000.
- The murder of certain victims (like public safety officers) or victims in certain circumstances (such as during the commission of a violent felony) can result in a sentence of death.
Judges usually assess court fees and costs to defendants convicted of misdemeanor and felony convictions. Beyond incarceration and monetary penalties, a convicted defendant could forfeit a professional license, lose driving privileges, jeopardize immigration status, or other consequences.
If You’re Charged With a Crime in Seguin, Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being arrested for any crime – misdemeanor or felony – can be overwhelming. From handcuffs to a holding cell, that initial period of time is disorienting, but you need to keep your head and contact a lawyer.
For most people, a criminal accusation and conviction forever change their lives, relationships, and access to education, not to mention the impact on their loved ones.
If you are arrested, remember that you have the Constitutional rights to remain silent and consult with an attorney. Exercise both of those rights and contact an experienced lawyer who can advise you about the advantages and pitfalls of a reduced plea bargain, help you explore alternative sentencing options and minimize collateral consequences, or defend your case through trial and sentencing.
Don’t represent yourself, don’t take unnecessary risks, and don’t go down without a fight! Put our seasoned and accomplished criminal defense lawyers in your corner!
The Law Office of Case J. Darwin Inc. defends people accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes. If you’ve been arrested, charged with a criminal offense, or suspect you are involved in a criminal matter, contact us right away.